In October 1996, Evelina T. Alhadeff attended a meeting in Moscow cosponsored by the Russian Association of
International Law and the Russian National Committee on the UN Decade of International Law. A number of other
national and international institutions also sponsored the meeting. Her report on the event is summarized below by
ASIL staff member Sandra Liebel. Persons interested in the full report can contact Alhadeff by fax at 33-1-4720-7417.
The meeting was convened to consider: (1) The UN: Preservation of Peace and Strengthening of the International
Legal Order; (2) Russia, the UN and International Law: New Approaches; (3) Peaceful Settlement of Disputes; (4) The
UN and Human Rights; (5) The UN and Environmental Protection; (6) The UN, Maritime Law, and Space Law; (7)
Topical Issues of Private International Law; and (8) International Law and the UN in the 21st Century.
Anatoly Kolodkin, President of the Russian Association of International Law, presided over the meeting, which was
coordinated by Ludmilla Korbut, Technical Secretary of the Association. ASIL President Edith Brown Weiss also
attended this meeting. A number of distinguished speakers addressed the issues and some of the conclu-
sions/recommendations reached were:
(1) Regarding Use of Force, that the Security Council should be equipped with more effective means to resolve
questions of disarmament and of armed conflicts, both domestic and international. The speaker noted the alarming
increase in the number of domestic conflicts and regional disputes in the world since 1988, and underlined the
desirability of regional peace enforcement mechanisms with mandates from the Security Council. Another speaker
questioned the replacement of the UN by NATO in recent actions in connection with the conflicts in the former
(2) Regarding Terrorism, the speaker held it to be subject to the use of force under Chapter VII of the UN
Charter. A discussion followed on treaties on terrorism and on government measures against international terrorism. All
the participants agreed that neither political nor religious considerations justify terrorism, and UN action against
government-sponsored terrorism was proposed, along with a proposal that a specific document be drafted on the subject
of terrorism and that a working group within the Sixth Committee should be established to work on agreements and
conventions on the prevention and punishment of terrorist acts. It was agreed that sanctions should be more closely
examined since economic sanctions frequently jeopardize civilian populations.
(3) On NGOs, the speaker examined the question of NGO relations with the UN and held that it was important that
NGOs' participation in the work of the UN should be broader and that they should be included in the agenda of the next
50 years of the UN.
(4) On Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, Dr. Kolodkin addressed specific issues and stressed the need for new
instruments to deal with the current dangers.
(5) On Improvement of UN Operations, it was pointed out by the speaker that all are aware that the UN is far from
perfect but that it must be recognized that its task is extraordinarily difficult. It was suggested that reorganization of the
UN based on peaceful coexistence should also involve modifications in the powers of the General Assembly and an
increase in the number of permanent members of the Security Council. It was also suggested that in order to make the
UN more understood and trusted on the world scene, the General Assembly should couch its resolutions in language that
is more understandable to a wider sector of the population.
A closing comment was that on the eve of the 21st century it is significant that the cold war has come to an end and that hope for the next century lies in the development of international law and human rights.